U.S. war trend? (5-7-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (May 7, 1941)


Here are significant statements made in the last month by responsible leaders

Washington, May 7 (UP) –
Is the United States moving closer to war?

Here are some significant statements made within the last month by responsible government officials and influential leaders:

Maritime Commission Chairman Emory S. Land:

In the field of shipping aid to Britain, there is a huge bonfire burning – the submarine menace… We might well ask ourselves in our all-out aid to Britain if we could not give greater help by aiding the British to put out the fire rather than by concentrating most of our efforts on feeding it with fuel.

Secretary of State Cordell Hull:

It is high time that the remaining free countries should arm to the fullest extent and in the briefest time humanly possible and act for their self-preservation… aid [to Britain] must reach its destination in the shortest time in maximum quantity. So, ways must be found to do this.

Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox:

We have declared that the fight that England is making is our fight… Having gone thus far, we cannot back down… Hitler cannot allow our war supplies and food to reach England – he will be defeated if they do. We cannot allow our goods to be sunk in the Atlantic – we shall be beaten if they are. We must make our promise good to give aid to Britain. We must see the job through…

President Roosevelt at a press conference:

U.S. neutrality patrols will be sent as far into the waters of the seven seas as may be necessary for the protection of the American hemisphere.

Wendell L. Willkie at Pittsburgh:

There is no value in our speeding up production over here if our supplies for over there are to rest upon the bottom of the ocean… It is necessary to protect these shipments…

John D. Rockefeller Jr., at New York:

It is my firm conviction… that the people of the United States and of all the Americas should see this conflict through; that we should stand by the British Empire to the limit and at any cost.

President Roosevelt at press conference

Legal authority exists to send American warships into combat zones… This does not necessarily mean such action will be taken.

Secretary of Commerce Jesse Jones to U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

We have chosen our course… to give all possible aid to those countries which are fighting to preserve their independence and our way of life… More sacrifices are in store for us.

President Roosevelt in broadcast opening defense savings campaign:

We must fight this threat [of aggression] wherever it appears…

President Roosevelt, requesting round-the-clock schedule for machine-tool defense industries:

Arms production must be stepped up to meet the ever-increasing demands for munitions, planes and ships, caused by the critical situation which confronts our nation.

Wendell Willkie at Washington:

The state of sinkings is so serious that we should protect our cargoes of arms and foods to England.

President Roosevelt in a speech dedicating the birthplace of World War I President Woodrow Wilson at Staunton, Va.:

Freedom of democracy in the world… is the kind of faith for which we have fought before, for the existence of which we are ever ready to fight again.

President Roosevelt in a letter to War Secretary Henry L. Stimson ordering increased production of heavy bombers:

Command of the air by the democracies must and can be achieved.

Chairman Carl Vinson of the House Naval Affairs Committee:

I am for convoys now.

Representative E. E. Cox (D-GA), in House speech:

Of course we are going to convoy and we are going to convoy right away.

Senator Claude Pepper (D-FL), who pioneered all-out aid to Britain, in Senate speech:

The American people are willing to spill their blood to crush Adolf Hitler and are eagerly awaiting responsible and authoritative government leadership to put forward a program to defeat the Axis powers.

Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson in radio speech approved by Mr. Roosevelt:

We have taken our place definitely behind the warring democracies and against the aggressor nations in the defense of our freedom… Unless we… are ready to sacrifice and, if need be, die for the conviction that the freedom of America must be saved, it will not be saved.

He advocated use of the U.S. Navy to assure that the goods are delivered to Britain. Mr. Stimson said:

Our government is acting with care and prudence…

…but he added that:

…our own self-defense required that limits should be put to lawless aggression on the ocean.